self-reliance is a trap, and I am trying to pull myself out

This is two shows, the Smut Stand, and four months of touring on there. Respect the roadie cart!

Time was, when I toured, I rejected most offers of help: to load my car, to load my roadie cart, to pack up my props, to strike the set. I know what I’m doing, I thought, I have ways of doing these things that are better than other ways. I was the Tetris master of tour packing, I thought, and these other well-meaning people, they would just get in the way.

Furthermore, and possibly more to the emotional point, I didn’t want to get used to having help. If I let people do things for me, I would get used to it. I would start to rely on it. My ability to do things for myself would atrophy, and then when the time came, as it inevitably would, that support was not there, I will fall on my face. I didn’t want to get used to that help, and then have to struggle all over again.

I did it in general life stuff too, like not wanting to be in a significant relationship again in which I relied heavily on a person. Polyamory was my solution to that, and I interpreted that in the same way: if I let anybody be too involved, then when I got dropped, I would be helpless. The emotional underpinnings of my self-sufficiency become really obvious when I put them like that.

I felt this way for a long time, 100 percent. I didn’t want to talk about it, but it was definitely there, tripping me up, making me sweat unnecessarily, tying me more and more fast into the belief that somehow I can boot-strap my own life, even though I know damn well that it’s a terrible strategy and not feasible for anyone else. It was an exceptionalist stance on my part, I knew it, but I kept on with it.

But even I, the Human Bulldozer, the original “Fake-It-Til-You-Make-It” girl, cannot keep going like this forever.

I’ve got a complicated career, that depends not on my bullheadedness—in fact, that probably gets in the way—but on my ability to work well with others and rely on them a great deal to get shit done when I can’t be there. I’ve got an artistic vision and personal mandate that is predicated on supporting others in their vulnerability, and modeling that vulnerability as a starting point. I have found UK Muse, and with him a love greater than anything I have ever known, and there is nothing that I can do on my own to stay with him. Anything that I do must be done in conjunction with him. I have to let him help me.

This makes sense, I suppose. The past 10 years have been a second individuation period for me, where had to figure out again, what I wanted and who I was. I struggled against personal, artistic, and work bonds that chafed and restrained me. This time around, I said to myself, I will sort it out on my own. I will deal with it. It’s the only way tot make sure that I can actually do it, for myself.

Well, I know that I can. I know that the things that I want is way more difficult than I expected, and I know that this new period is about learning to ask for help, to accept help when it’s freely offered, and to deliberately entertain the possibility of collaboration—professional, romantic, and otherwise—when every strand of emotional fibre in my being is vibrating with fear.

I will let people touch my props. I will invite others to support. I will have hard conversations with my lover about our brave new world and the difficult path to it. I’m afraid; I still wish I could do all this by myself. But there really isn’t any other way.


I rely on you, too, you know. Readers and fans like yourself can spread the word about my work, both written and performance-based, AND you can become a patron of mine on Patreon. I need your help, and I appreciate it.

1 Comment
  • Casimir Bendaplimpton

    Yay! Welcome to Square #2. (~Respect~)
    Two applicabe quotes:
    “I learned early on that you can’t get much done by yourself.” — from a one-page bio of a highly-placed person, about 30 years ago.
    “Control’s a tough nut.” — ‘Ordinary People’ (1980)

    May 16, 2017 at 11:51 am
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